Polity & Governance
13th Dec, 2018
- 8 States have achieved 100% household electrification under Saubhagya namely Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, J&K, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal.
- Total 15 States now have 100 % household electrification.
- With this, according to Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, India is on track to achieve 100% household electrification by 31st December, 2018.
Saubhagya – ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’
- It was launched in September 2017 with the objective to provide access to electricity to all the remaining households in the country.
- The scheme primarily benefits rural areas, which have vast majority of households without power connections.
- It is being funded to extent of 60% by central grants, 30% by bank loans and 10% by states.
- Under it, free electricity connections are provided to below poverty line (BPL) households, while other households have to pay ?500 for the connection.
- The scheme envisages electricity connection for each household by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the home, installing an energy meter, and wiring for a single light point with an LED bulb and a mobile charging point.
- States will be provided with incentive of 50% of their loan being converted to grants, if electrification targets under the scheme are met by 31 December 2018.
- To identify beneficiaries for free electricity connections, the government will use Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
- The beneficiary household will get five LED lights, one DC fan, one DC power plug. It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.
- To ensure on-the-spot registration, mobile applications will be used.
- Gram Panchayat and public institutions in rural areas will be authorised to carry out billing and collection tasks.
- There will be no subsidy component for monthly electricity consumption.
- If implemented successfully, Saubhagya can improve education, fuel economic activity and create more job opportunities across villages.
- The use of kerosene for lighting purposes could also be curbed, resulting in lower subsidies and reduced impact on the environment.
- Power generating and distributing companies, currently saddled with excess capacity, are expected to benefit through an increase in the demand for power.
- Power distribution companies who are in financial distress may be able to recover some of their costs through the new household connections and added demand.
- Electrification has direct positive impact on the quality of all aspects of daily life, especially to the women and children.
- With deeper penetration of electricity network, significant improvement is expected in delivery of other essential services like health, communication etc. Thereby more opportunities for economic activities leading to employment generation, increase in income and poverty alleviation.